The 1906 Bulloch County Confederate Veterans Reunion
Metter Did Herself Proud In the Manner She Handled Confederate Veterans' Reunion
From the Statesboro News, July 16th edition, 1906 (posted on this site 27 Sept. 2004)
Yesterday was a big day in Metter. It was the occasion of the annual re-union of the Confederate Veterans of Bulloch County, which was voted by all to have been the most successful that has ever been held in the county. While it is true that there have been more people out to former re-unions at this place than was at Metter on yesterday, but the program of the day was never more successfully carried out.
The great crowd was estimated all the way from 2000 to 5000 people, most of those there thought the latter estimate nearest the mark. Col. R. J. Travis, of Savannah, was the orator of the day. He was introduced by Hon. W. J. Willie in a short but well spoken talk after which a masterly address was delivered in defense of the men who followed the fortunes of Lee and Jackson in the stormy days of the early sixties. Col. Travis made an able defense of those principles for which the men who wore the grey fought and died. He hoped that the coming generations would ever keep green the memories of those patriots who gave the best years of their life for principles they believed to be right.
The veterans formed at the Metter public school building and marched about 125 in line behind a cornet band from Savannah. In the carriage in front of the procession rode the sponsors of the day, Hon. J. D. Kirkland, Mayor of Metter, Hon. W.J. Willie, ex-Mayor of Metter, and the three sponsors viz: Misses Inez Williams, Fonnie Fordham, Mamie Ellis. The sponsors were decorated in the stars and bars and above the carriage floated the colors that were folded at Appomattox; folded not because they were acknowledged to be wrong but from sheer exhaustion. The South had fought and wore itself out killing the skum of the earth who had been hired to come in and strangle the best manhood of the best section under the sun.
After the address by Col. Travis, Hon. W. B. Merritt, state school commissioner, made a fine address on the subject of education. He was given marked attention and was liberally applauded by the crowd who heard him. After the conclusion of his speech, he was seized by the big crowd and given such a welcome as only south Georgia crackers are capable of extending.
One of the finest basket dinners and barbeques that it has ever been our pleasure to see and partake of was spread. A large circle of tables groaned beneath the load of good things to eat, and when the crowd had finished and could devour no more there was enough left on the tables to have fed another just such a crowd. The good people of Metter and that section certainly did themselves proud with this spread, as well as with every other feature of this occasion.
A special train from Dover took about 800 people from Statesboro along the line of the road. The Savannah & Statesboro railway connected at this place and brought in a good sized crowd from below. The Register & Glennville train delivered to the special about one hundred people from its line of road.
There was a large number of candidates on hand to shake with the "dear voter", but no political speeches were delivered. All the (state) candidates were there, except (page torn, words missing) Anderson and (page torn, words missing) in Atlanta (page torn) Savannah of (missing) considered (page torn) own people who were there. Messrs. Overstreet and Saussy candidates for the short term in congress, and Messrs. Brannen and Sheppard, running for the long term were there.
The day passed off peaceably and was voted by all concerned to be the most successful that has ever been held.
(See original article below. Submitted to our Dixie Guards site by our friend and compatriot, Smith Callaway Banks: the renowned historian of Bulloch county and author of "A Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Bulloch County".)